by Drs.Like Wu, Xiaojuan Wang, Bo Cheng, Susan Chu, Shuangshuang Liu and Baolei Xu
Wu Medical Center, Bejing, China
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological condition, which affects the nervous system. Epilepsy is also known as a seizure disorder. It is usually diagnosed after a person has had at least two seizures that were not caused by some known medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar. Sometimes, according to the International League Against Epilepsy, epilepsy can be diagnosed after one seizure, if a person has a condition that places them at high risk for having another.
The seizures in epilepsy may be related to a brain injury or a family tendency, but most of the time the cause is unknown. The word "epilepsy" does not indicate anything about the cause of the person's seizures, what type they are, or how severe they are. It results from the generation of electrical signals that come from inside the brain, causing recurring seizures. Seizure symptoms vary from one person to another. Some people suffering from epilepsy simply stare blankly for a number of seconds while undergoing a seizure. Others have full-fledged convulsions.
Even mild seizures might require treatment, since they can be dangerous if they occur during activities like swimming or driving. Traditional treatment generally includes medications and sometimes surgery. It usually eliminates or reduces both the frequency and intensity of seizures. Many children with epilepsy outgrow the condition, as they mature.
Current evidence seems to suggest that excitotoxic mechanisms are involved in a number of neurological disorders, including status epilepticus (SE) a condition found in some patients with epilepsy. SE conditions lead to neuronal loss, synaptic reorganization, sclerosis of brain tissue, and some motor and cognitive dysfunctions, including epilepsy and memory impairments.
Cell replacement is a possible approach for the treatment of excitotoxic neuronal injury. After selective neuronal injury, targeted replacement of injured neurons may be a logical choice.
In Wu Stem Cell Medical Center(WSCMC), neural stem cell and mesenchymal stem cell injections have been used together with rehabilitation therapy to treat epilepsy.